The signs of aging emerge from a combination of factors; intrinsic, extrinsic & chronological.
If we were to examine a skin that has only endured chronological aging together with the natural intrinsic factor of aging, (ie. No environmental exposure) this skin would be quite smooth, have very few blemishes and have natural lines and wrinkles due to facial expression movement only. In comparison, a skin that has aged due to extrinsic factors (eg. Sun damage, smoking and alcohol consumption, a dryer climate, air pollution etc) one would find that the exposed areas are heavily wrinkled, hyper- or hypo-pigmented, grey or sallow in colour and have less dense tissue & loss of elasticity – accompanied by other issues like telangiectasia and benign lesions as well as fragile skin.) The difference between the two skins will be obvious, but both will have wrinkles and sagging.
To target wrinkles and sagging skin one needs to understand what causes them:
• A reduction in muscle mass and skin thickness
• Damage / denaturing of collagen and elastin in the dermis
• Dehydration of the Stratum Corneum (SC)
Collagen and Elastin are proteins that make up around 80% of the dermis and are structural components known as Connective Tissue. The two have very different roles in the skin. Collagen gives the skin strength, structure and hydration, while Elastin supports the dynamic movement of the skin; as the name suggests, elastic – the stretch & bounce-back ability.
Although they are made by the fibroblasts within the skin they can also be stimulated by the epithelial cells as both structures are essential in wound healing. Any epithelial stimulation will bring about a stimulation to the fibroblast which in turn will be signalled to produce Collagen and Elastin.
Both Collagen and Elastin are made up of amino acids - known as collagen fibres and elastin fibres.
Peptides, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are key to that ‘scaffolding’ that binds the collagen fibres together, forming a collagen molecule. The lack of these components and or an interruption in any part of the ‘building’ of collagen (known as collagen synthesis) can be detrimental to the type of collagen being produced.
Elastin fibres are similar, but the build-up is not as complex as collagen. Elastin fibres are made up of multiple soluble tropoelastin protein molecules, once bound, they make one large insoluble complex through a process known as crosslinking. During the crosslinking process, peptides are vital to build and maintain the structure of Elastin.
Dermaceutic has included the nutrients and components needed for both Collagen synthesis as well as Elastin crosslinking.
Dermaceutic ensures that Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid and peptides are all available to the skin through it’s recommended pre-Chemical Peel preparation products. Products that should be prescribed pre-peel are:
• C25 Cream (25% Vitamin C Complex)
• Tri Vita C 30 (30% combination of Vitamin C)
• Regen Ceutic (Peptides & Hyaluronic acid)
• Derma Lift 5.0 (5% Peptides)
Collagen and Elastin cannot be added (in their full form) into cosmetic preparations as they will be too large to enter the dermis – where they are most needed. These molecules, due to their protein make up, are easily denatured and therefore cannot be stabilized in cosmetics for long periods of time. Collagen can be supplemented but the skin will only utilize 1% of anything that is absorbed through the GI tract.
So how does one get Collagen and Elastin in their skin?
• Chemical Peels and their formulation of ingredients are carefully selected at specific concentrations to allow for optimal fibroblast stimulation. Chemical peels are theoretically a controlled burn / wound to the skin, thereby stimulating the fibroblast’s wound healing response – Collagen & Elastin synthesis.
• There are multiple studies that show Glycolic Acid in a 50% concentration has high Collagen stimulation.
Each peel should come with pre-peel product prescription and post-peel product prescription to ensure that the skin is supplied with everything it needs for best restoration and maximised Collagen and Elastin synthesis. Practitioners that follow Dermaceutic protocols will have better results and their patients can better maintain their results. After a series of Chemical Peels patients will be prescribed a long-term homecare regime that provides epithelial stimulation to ensure that Collagen and Elastin are continually stimulated and supported with the nutrients needed for their maturation.